Posted in Family, Romance, Suspense

Too Close – Elizabeth Krall

17379064Synopsis

What rules would you break for the one you love? What lies would you tell?

Three weeks before their wedding day, Nicola and Greg discover that they may have the same mother.
They met when Greg joined the San Francisco newspaper where Nicola is the travel editor. After six months, eager to start a life together and raise a family, they decide to marry.
When Nicola finally meets his family in Seattle, and mentions the circumstances of her adoption, Greg’s horrified mother is forced to reveal the shameful secret she has kept for 36 years.
As they struggle to deal with her revelation, their relationship is challenged and strained. If his mother’s suspicions are true, they will be forced into a devastating choice: break all of society’s rules and fight for their love, or break their hearts and give each other up.
It will be the greatest test their newfound love has faced – and their love may not survive.

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My Review

What would you do if the love of your life could somehow be related to you?

Nicola and Greg meet at work. Nicola, after being burnt by her ex-boyfriend, who was also a colleague, has sworn off dating colleagues since then. But then she meets Greg and he proves to her that he would never hurt her and bit by bit he breaks down that wall and they end up falling fast for one another, becoming engaged after just six months.

Three weeks before the wedding and a trip to meet Greg’s family in Seattle, Nicola mentions her circumstances of being adopted after showing a family photo to Greg’s mother. In turn, Greg’s mother Mona is forced to confess and reveal a shameful moment that happened to her 36 years ago; a secret she has kept hidden from everyone. She had a baby and left it, just like the story Nicola told them.

After the revelation, Greg and Nicola’s relationship changes. They both struggle with the fact they could be half-brother and sister, but they try to put it at the back of their mind until the DNA results come back. But it’s harder to forget this situation and it challenges them both. What will happen if they are related? Will they break up and never see each other again or will they break society’s rules and run away together, some place where no one will ever know their secret?

Their love is being tested to the limit and will all these ‘what ifs’ in the way, will their love survive this terrible ordeal?

I came across Too Close on accident really. I was just looking for some books to download on Amazon and this book sprang to my attention. Clicking on it to see what it was about, I knew I had to read it. I had never read a book about a couple maybe being related but from the start I was completely hooked. I wanted to know how the realization that they could be related came to light and how it was dealt with as really, it is such a delicate and emotional issue to deal with but I felt Ms. Krall wrote this book spectacularly. She dealt with the issue in a seriousness matter but also in a way to kind of bring a light release to the issue.

She had me feeling every emotion all the characters’ felt, especially Greg, Nicola, Mona – Greg’s mother and Gwen – Nicola’s adoptive mother. I could see everyone’s side during the waiting for the results, especially both Greg and Nicola’s constant arguments over the whole ‘sibling’ thing because they both had very different views on what to do over it. I was on edge until the DNA results were shown because I just had to know the outcome. I had come to love Greg and Nicola and I hated that it could be over before it truly began for them. I love it when books evoke a whole load of emotions from me because you know it’s a great book when that happens!

As the synopsis mentions, Greg and Nicola meet at a bar one night where everyone from work goes to on a Friday. They seem to really get on and there is an obvious attraction for both of them but Max, a work colleague, tells Greg that Nicola doesn’t go out with work colleagues since her ex-boyfriend cheated on her throughout their relationship with her boss. Greg is determined to make her change her mind about her rule and starts off little, asking her out just as friends. Nicola knows this isn’t true, that it is a date, but somehow she doesn’t seem to care. She likes Greg and after a few more dates, it seems the rule is broken.

They fall for each other fast. Spending nearly every day together and one night, after being together for 6 months, they talk about children and getting married, which leads to them becoming engaged. Although it seems rushed, you can really see the chemistry and the love the both of them have for one another and when you know you’ve found the one, why would you wait? Love has no time limit.

Nicola’s parents and siblings really like Greg, so when it’s her turn to meet Greg’s parents, three weeks before the wedding, shes really nervous. She gets on well with his parents and his sister but when she tells the story of her adoption that is when everything goes pear shaped and secrets from Mona’s past  are about to come to the surface and are set to test their relationship and love for one another. Could Greg and Nicola really be brother and sister?

It was so heartbreaking to think that they could be half-brother and sister. It tore my heart apart that Nicola and Greg loved each other so when this revitalisation came to light, it was so hard to watch them both struggle over what to do about that information and how to handle it. Greg seemed to adjust to it, trying to push it to the back of his mind. This was HIS Nicola, and no way could they be related, it just couldn’t be. But Nicola had a hard time dealing with it. She had never wanted to meet her real mother and knowing that the love of her life could be her brother and knowing Mona could be her mother just didn’t feel right to her at all. It was all she could think about.

Greg tried so hard to get her to forget that they could be related. He’d tell her that it’s ‘just me, it’s just us’ and he would do anything for her. For them to spend two weeks not knowing what the results of the DNA test would be was completely harrowing and gripping to read.

Greg has strong religious beliefs and so he knows that incest is a sin. Whereas Nicola isn’t religious and she wants to fight for their relationship if they are related. They fight a lot over this; religion being a main factor over the fights. I also though Greg was being hypercritical over the whole incest fight they had. It seemed he was okay being with Nicola knowing they could be related the past two weeks but when she tells him that there could be a way they could stay together if the results came back positive, he just went off the rails about how incest is a sin.

To love someone so much and find out you may be related, it’s got to be heartbreaking and emotional and such a tough situation to go through. I really understood the way they were acting; biting at one another with their ‘what if’s’ but also needing to be with one another, to support each other throughout the turmoil until they got the results back. I could never imagine myself in this situation, let alone think about what I would do if I was in this position.

I could really feel the emotions pouring from Nicola and Greg. To be put in this position, then having to wait for the results would cause havoc and uncertainty for anyone who goes through results like this or any other results.

You really do root for them not to be brother and sister though, because they truly are meant to be. They have both been badly hurt in the past and to finally meet and fall in love in such a short amount of time seemed like the right thing for them. They loved each other dearly and it’s clear to see they would do anything for one another. Greg fought from the start to breaking down Nicola’s barriers and thank god he was the one to break her rule. It was clear there was an instant attraction between them that going fast was just something that happened and it felt right.

I really don’t want to tell you what happened at the end with the results and I don’t want to write about the end and whether I enjoyed it or not because that would spoil the outcome. Let’s just say I cried at the results and leave it like that.

There are a few scenes I loved reading but I have to say the ‘bondage’ scene at the hotel. That made me completely giggle when I read it because they are both just so comfortable together, they both kind of take the piss out of BDSM, with Greg telling Nicola she would be a rubbish sex slave. I could definitely imagine that scene playing out in my mind, at how at ease they were together and how they could just laugh at the toys in the box that Greg’s sister sent them. It was nice that they could just forget about the situation they were in, even if it was just for a couple of hours. Where they could just be together and not worry about anything.

Gosh, you really do go through the emotions reading Too Close but I am so glad I found this book and got the chance to read it. It was great to see how this situation affected the families and friends they both had and their input and advice into their situation. Each character had something different to input and I loved the friends that Greg and Nicola had, they were with them from the start, supporting them.

Elizabeth Krall has written an amazing book in Too Close and I insist that you all read it!! It is different from other books I read, as I have yet to read a book like this, but boy am I glad. It’s a page turner. It’s about love, a struggle, a journey but most of all fighting for love. I definitely recommend this book to you all!

 

 

 

Posted in Romance

Rumour Has It – Jill Mansell

Synopsis

Would you be tempted?

Newly single, Tilly Cole impulsively accepts a job offer in a small town as a “Girl Friday.” Fun job, country house, fresh start, why not? But soon she finds herself in a hotbed of gossip, intrigue, and rampant rivalry for the town’s most desirable bachelor-Jack Lucas.

Rumors of Jack’s “love ’em and leave ’em” escapes abound, and Tilly decides to do the mature, sensible thing… avoid Jack at all cost. But the more time Tilly spends with Jack, the more the rumors just don’t make sense. Tilly doesn’t know what to believe… and Jack’s not telling

 

 

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My Review

After her boyfriend leaves her, newly-single Tilly goes to visit her friend Erin in Roxborough for the weekend, catching-up and partying. When it’s time to go back to the city, Tilly’s train is delayed and she stumbles upon an ad for a job – a “Girl Friday” and decides to call and see what it’s about.

Pushing her way to an interview, she leaves the station and goes to the house, where she meets Max Dineen, an interior designer, father to a teenager called Lou and he’s gay. The “Girl Friday” ad is basically Max looking for someone to help him with his business and errands and raising his daughter. During the interview, it was easy to see that Max and Tilly hit it off famously, so of course she was given the job, meaning she was moving from the city to the little town of Roxborough.

Tilly soon meets Jack Lucas after moving to the town, and everyone she meets warns her that he is a ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’ guy so that she should stay away if she doesn’t want to be another notch on his bedpost (if you believe the rumours). So that’s what she does, stays away. But Jack cant stay away from her.

We find out that Jack had been engaged previously, but his fiancée had died. Although Tilly continually pushes him away, its easy to see that the attraction is there, for both of them, but no matter what he tells her, she doesn’t want to be another notch.

When Max and Lou decide on a weekend away, Tilly agrees to a date with Jack but unforeseen circumstances come about and it’s the finally straw. Tilly wants nothing to do with him.

Although all this is happening with Tilly and Jack, her best friend Erin is getting shit from the ex-wife of her new boyfriend, but when the ex-wife gets cancer, its Erin, not her friends, that is there until the end.

Jack, who doesn’t give up easily, actually really surprised me at the end of the book. I was not expecting what he did, to happen. But it proved how serious he was about Tilly – even telling his former fiancee’s parents about her, which must have been hard to do.

All the characters were so loveable in their own way. I loved all the different stories interlinked within the book with all the different characters having stuff happening in their lives. It deals with subjects such as death, rumours, homophobia, love but it all adds into the brilliance of how it was written and delivered in the book.

The friendships between the characters were magical especially Max and Jack and Max and Tilly. I loved both these friendships and they had me laughing a lot throughout their interactions. This book is light-hearted and fun to read; it’s a fluffy chick-lit read.